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    VP Leni: DOJ must deliver justice, ‘not political vindictiveness’

    CEBU CITY – Vice President Leni Robredo underscored that the Department of Justice must deliver justice and fairness to the people, as she expressed disappointment over a series of decisions from the agency, including the dismissal of charges against suspected drug lord Peter Lim and self-confessed dealer Kerwin Espinosa.

    VP Leni admitted that recent events are making her lose confidence in the agency, and called Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II to task, amid claims that he was “blindsided” in some of these decisions. She reiterated that the DOJ must deliver justice to the people, and not be used as an avenue for political vendetta.

    “Nakakalungkot lang iyong mga nangyayaring ganiyan kasi parang nagiging pattern na siya na kung sino man iyong sumasalungat sa anumang polisiya na inihayag, o kung sino man ang sumasalungat sa kahit anong desisyon, parating may tag na na ‘drug protector,’” she said in an interview Tuesday, at the sidelines of the Istorya ng Pag-asa Gallery launch in Cebu City.

    “[S]ana naiintindihan ng mga nasa DOJ kung ano iyong halaga ng ahensya nila. Hindi ito isang ahensya na puwedeng gamitin para sa mga personal na vindictiveness, lalo na kapag pulitika iyong dahilan. Ito iyong ahensyang inatasan para siguraduhin na iyong katarungan ang mananaig sa ating bansa. Kung sila mismo iyong nagiging instrumento ng pagkawalang-katarungan, napakahirap noon para sa ating lahat, kasi saan pa tayo, ‘di ba, saan pa tayo sasandig?” she added.

    The Vice President issued the comment after Aguirre tagged Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña as a drug protector—a pronouncement the secretary made after Osmeña slammed him for allegedly interfering in the city government’s tax evasion complaint against a mall company and its banking arm.

    “Sana hindi padalos-dalos iyong pagbibigay ng akusasyon, lalo na kung iyan ay walang basehan. Kung mayroong basehan, maghain ng maayos na kaso, pero kung wala naman, huwag sanang dinadaan sa mga ganito,” VP Leni said, as she vouched for Osmeña, a friend of her late husband, Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo.

    “[N]gayon, may bagong paratang kay Mayor Osmeña na drug protector. Kanina, nabasa natin na iyong Bohol incident, napawalang-sala. Si Peter Lim saka si Espinosa ay napawalang-sala. Si Napoles ay gagawing state witness. Tapos nakikita natin, maraming mga kilala tayong mga tao na matagal na sa public service, na hindi naman na-involve sa ganitong mga paratang, ngayon dahil sa magkasalungat na paniniwala ay ang paratang na parati ay ‘drug protector.’ Napakahirap kapag ganito,” she added.

    Earlier, the Vice President expressed concerns over the dismissal of charges against Lim and Espinosa, saying such move was scary and unfair for poor Filipinos who were not given due process in the drug war.

    She likewise slammed the DOJ’s decision to place Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged mastermind of the pork barrel scam, under the Witness Protection Program, noting that it makes a “mockery” of the justice system given Napoles’ involvement in the corruption scandal.

    Posted in Press Releases on Mar 27, 2018